Unsellable Houses

Sibling Split Level

Season 2, Episode 6

This episode is extra special to us! Probably our favorite so far! This week, we had the chance to help one of our good friends, Jeana, and her family renovate their home and put it back on the market.

Best part: Jeana is Jeff’s sister! For real, this project hit us on so many levels!

The biggest challenge here was helping buyers overcome the split-level entry. Most contemporary buyers see split-level homes as dated and a poor use of space. We wanted them to see something beautiful right up front, so they’d be excited to see more!

We worked with a French country theme to create a timeless, soothing vibe throughout the house. We were pretty happy with the result! And buyers agreed!

The home, which had been on and off the market several times at a list price of $420,000, went back on the market at $500,000 and sold for a grand total of $540,000! What a win!

Here’s how we gave this split-level home new life…

Colors, Patterns, & Texture Inspos

We wanted a French country feel for this home, so we leaned big into neutrals—grays and whites. We distressed the cabinets and other wood features to add a nice weathered look, then added copper accents for a masculine edge.

The result was a super cute, charming space that welcomes you home!

Key Updates

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DIY Project: Stairwell 

One of the biggest challenges we faced was the split level entry. To help buyers see past the awkward entrance, we removed the half wall at the top of the stairs and created a custom railing that allowed for much more light to filter through the space. The railing has a country fence look to it and totally captures the style of the home.

We also added board and batten to the entry wall, creating a super simple but elegant feature right at the entrance of the home.

These updates were relatively simple, but they made a huge difference when it came to first impressions!

JL’s Take

Okay. This episode especially needs a word from JL, since it was personal for them, too! Here’s their take on the project…

This was an incredibly special episode for our team and our families.

 Jeff put in extra hours to leave no stone unturned. The timeframe for this project was his biggest challenge, but he wasn’t willing to make sacrifices, so getting it all done in the allotted time meant many late nights.

For Jeana, being in the dark as to what was happening at the jobsite was a new experience. Since joining JL, she has been privy to what is going on at all projects, but we wanted to keep the reveal a true surprise. The biggest shock when seeing the finished space was the way Jeff bumped out the main bath wall to allow for a larger shower saying, “I knew they would figure out a way to open up the kitchen and remove the fireplace wall to make the space more inviting, but I didn’t expect for them to find a way to do all of those things and create a larger main bath. In my head it was always one or the other!”

So much love was poured into this project from Lyndsay, Leslie, Jeff, and everyone involved. Our favorite episode to date!

Awww! Jeff, Jeana, and the JL team, it was such a joy to take on this reno with you! 💕

Featured Finds

You can find several of the items featured in this episode online and in our Snohomish Storefront location! Check these out: 

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Key Materials 

You can see all of our great Amazon finds right here

See ya back on HGTV next Tuesday at 9PM ET/PT!